PRYOR, OK —
“He had it coming, he had it coming, he only had himself to blame.”
Let me preface this by saying that I have not killed a man. But, given some recent events, this song from the Broadway musical “Chicago” seemed appropriate.
When I took this job, covering small-town government and politics, I was told I was entering a long-standing good ole boys club. I assumed, as this is 2014, that this was an exaggeration and any woman who excels at her job would have no trouble.
Then I had a door shut in my face and was told “this is man’s work.”
Now, I’m not going to name names, but this individual’s reputation seems to precede him. Everywhere I go, I am told this good ole boy has trouble working with women, that he doesn't respect us. To that, good sir, I’d say the feeling is mutual.
It is absurd to me that multiple men have offered to call this person for me, as they didn't believe he would give me the information I need simply because I'm female. No less than a dozen professionals have warned me of his chauvinist tendencies.
There is another such man lurking about town. This one is a military type who is prone to stomping through my office, raising his voice — very Hulk-like. He is of the opinion that women should not be allowed to work in the media. He suggested our hormones prevented us from reporting current events without bias. He enlightened me as to the problems in the military today — women shouldn't be allowed in the armed forces and if they are sexually assaulted, well that’s their punishment for taking a man’s place. But honestly, he said, most of these women are making it up for attention anyway. Despite being invited to leave multiple times, he keeps showing up.
“I figured you’d appreciate me telling you what you’re doing right and what you need to change,” he, who has never worked at a newspaper, told me.
Lastly, there’s the man who calls the newsroom and asks if “there’s a man he can talk to.”
Perhaps these three gents can form some sort of support group to help each other cope with the ever-changing role of women in the work force.
I know, I know; women today and their constant need to be treated like human beings. Outrageous.
Am I a feminist? Yes. Do I hate men? No. In fact, I am equal opportunity when it comes to stupidity.
I am of the delicate, lady-like opinion that women are people too.
Pryor may be a small town, but that doesn’t give you permission to be small-minded.
Eventually there will come a time that you'll be held to a higher standard, or karma will catch up with you.
These men will get their’s, one way or another, and they’ll have only themselves to blame.